Ukip backs Tory and Labour candidates

After declaring “sod the lot”, Ukip decides that some are all right after all.

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In most political parties, backing a candidate from a rival party is punished with immediate expulsion. But in Ukip it's actively encouraged.

The party's election poster may have declared "Sod the Lot", but all the same it has decided to support five "committed Eurosceptics" from the Conservatives and one from Labour at the election.

The Ukip leader, Lord Pearson, says his party plans to "actively campaign" for these candidates, rather than merely "stand aside".

The five lucky Conservatives are Douglas Carswell, Philip Davies, Alex Story, Janice Small and Philip Hollobone.

Unfortunately in Stroud, where the party has endorsed Labour's David Drew, a Ukip candidate had already registered. Ukip's Steve Parker is now, according to Pearson, "asking voters to back the Labour candidate if possible".

All of which raises the question: who is going to cover the poor man's deposit? It seems rather uncharitable to ask Parker to suspend his campaign for Labour and then expect him to pay a deposit he's sure to lose.

Meanwhile, those Labour and Tory candidates should be asked: do you welcome support from a party whose asylum literature declares "Get Lost We're Full" and whose leader says Britain is under threat because "the Muslims are breeding ten times faster than us"?

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George Eaton is assistant editor of the New Statesman.